The Supply Side: Wal-Mart supplier news briefs

Fujifilm North America gets supplier award
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. tagged Fujifilm of North America as one of its “Vendors of the Year”. The award is given annually at the retailer’s Supplier Summit to suppliers who deliver exceptional services or products that help Wal-Mart fulfill its commitment to its customers.

Fujifilm won the in the photofinishing category for 2012.

“We are honored to receive this award from Wal-Mart since it recognizes our commitment to exceed the expectations of our business partners,” said Joseph Vaughey, vice president of sales and marketing with Fujifilm North America.

“This achievement is only possible through the hard work of our dedicated national account team, supply chain managers and analysts who provide the consistent knowledge and support we need to deliver on our promise to Wal-Mart every day.”

Fuji operates a sales office in Northwest Arkansas for its business with Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Wal-Mart suppliers team up to fight hunger
Walmart and 10 of its supplier food companies said they will work together on the Fighting Hunger Together initiative.

Campbell’s Soup, ConAgra Foods, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, General Mills, Kraft Foods Group, Kellogg Company, Mondelez International, Nestlé USA, PepsiCo and Unilever are working with Wal-Mart employees this spring to bring much needed food and funding to nonprofit organizations that work to fight hunger.

More than 50 million Americans live in food insecure households, and more than 16 million of those impacted are children. The Fighting Hunger Together initiative will deliver $3 million in grants for hunger programs and generate more than 35 million meals* for local Feeding America food banks and their partner agencies across the U.S.

“An astonishing 1 in 5 children in America are food insecure, not knowing, at some point during the year, where their next meal will come from, and as the nation’s largest grocer, we have a responsibility to help change this reality,” said Julie Gehrki, senior director of the Walmart Foundation.

“With this initiative, we are working to help families across the U.S. by generating meals and awarding grants to local food banks and agencies to support hunger relief programs, including backpack programs providing vitals meals to children when they are out of school, and community gardens teaching families how to grow their own healthy foods.”

The public will have the opportunity to join the fight against hunger and help distribute grants to local communities across the country.

Customers and Walmart associates can visit and cast one vote per day for a Feeding America food bank or partner agency in local communities across the country.

The winning 100 organizations, which will be announced in May, will share $3 million in grants to fund hunger relief programs.


The Supply Side: Wal-Mart supplier news briefs

• Acosta Sales & Marketing acquired three foodservice companies
Acosta Sales & Marketing announced the acquisition of three foodservice companies: Wolff Group, Basic Sales & Marketing and Progressive Marketing.

The combined organizations will integrate with Acosta’s rapidly growing foodservice division, and will extend the coverage of the company’s sales and marketing services across the United States.

Acosta entered the foodservice channel in March 2012 and since that time has steadily built a strong presence across the country. Complemented by these acquisitions, Acosta’s foodservice division now spans almost the entire country.

“We are pleased these leading regional companies will be joining our rapidly growing foodservice division,” said Mark Hayden, Acosta’s foodservice division president. “The addition of these three organizations will help us to continue to build the leading foodservice platform in the U.S., and provide our clients with superior talent, experience and robust sales and marketing services.”

Acosta is a service provider to Wal-Mart and has a sales office in Rogers.

• B&G Foods tagged by Forbes among best in U.S.
B&G Foods, manufactures and distributes products under several brands including Ortega, Maple Grove Farms of Vermont, Cream of Wheat and Mrs. Dash made the Forbes 100 list of Best U.S. small companies.

B&G Foods saw revenue at the company increase to $633.8 million in 2012, from $487 million in 2008. Net income rose to $59.3 million, from $9.7 million.

Its biggest customer is Wal-Mart, representing around 19.7% of its total revenue.

• Kraft and Cracker Barrel legal battle continues
The legal fight between Kraft and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store expanded, with the food company now challenging several of the restaurant chain's trademarks.

Kraft is petitioning federal regulators to restrict Cracker Barrel trademarks for various products. The petition, filed last month with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, seeks to limit those items' sale to the chain's stores, website and mail-order catalog.

Kraft is a supplier to Wal-Mart with a local sales office in Northwest Arkansas.

•Top management team to take American Greetings private

Chairman Morry Weiss and his sons, CEO Zev Weiss and chief operating office Jeffrey Weiss, aim to take digital greeting card seller American Greetings private in a deal valued at $878 million.
The deal, which still requires board approval, calls for the buyout group to pay $18.20 per share to non-family shareholders, plus a dividend if the deal closes by July.